Joined on September 13, 2010
Last Post on December 9, 2013
@ November 21, 2010 6:31 PM in Propane FireplaceTim,
Well, like I said, the hole for the pilot orifice IS small. I would never F with one. I was suggesting that they get a professional take care of it. I really do not like screwing around with LP and especially gas fireplaces. The has runs out on the floor and goes off all around you. Nat Gas goes up.
HO's and H-men should leave gas servicing to the trained pro's. Me being a licensed Master Plumber in Massachusetts says that I am qualified to work on gas but I don't claim that. Though 3 houre of my 6 hours of yearly continuing education to keep my license is devoted to gas. Natural. I never see that. Just LP.
As far as gas, when I need help, I call Nat. All else, I usually call me.
@ November 21, 2010 6:19 PM in Cutting RaupanelWas the blade a carbide blade?
The panels couldn't be very thick because aluminum is pricy by weight.
I still think that a 7 1/4" circular saw with a decent 40 tooth blade will give you cuts all day long. The vinyl siding is so thin that it will chip out. I use a carbide blade in my saw and have cut aluminum downspouts with out any problems. I've cut copper tube on angles with my slide saw. I've cut corian and other things with nary a problem. A cut off saw blade will probably plug up with aluminum stock.
Also, I have a Bosch saber type saw. They sell a carbide saw blade that I use on Stainless steel. I also use it on coated threaded rod. It is so hard that it will dull a regular top quality Bosch blade. The problem with aluminum is that it easily clogs the space between teeth. Try the circular blade before you go nuts with something that may not work. I use my saw for cutting wood and then cutting whatever. With no blade dulling or damage.
It works for me.
@ November 21, 2010 6:03 PM in Oil boiler DHW among other "issues"That may work for you. I've never seen it work out as hoped for anyone else but you might be the one.
What is your obsession with not allowing -5 gallons of water to be heated in a pressure vessel, designed to extract vast amount of heat energy out of the cheapest fuel per BTU? And swap swap it for the opportunity to heat water water with the most expensive way ever devised by man. To take a heating coil, and stick it inside a pressure vessel and use the liquid in the vessel to keep it from melting? Do you have a electric panel in this old house that can take another 30 amp 240 volt double pole breaker".
In the 70's I built a 5 bedroom cape and there were six of us, four teenagers. 4 zones of forced hot water heat with a tankless and a storage tank. I burned 700 to 800 gallons of oil per year. In an area where 0 degrees is used. I've had similar results with every home I have built. And no matter how much I tried to come up with a way to save money, nothing was ever cheaper than this.
But, that electric may work for you. I've just never seen it work for anyone else.
@ November 21, 2010 10:09 AM in Propane FireplaceTim is the expert, not me. But the pilot shouldn't be "fluttering". Sounds to me like the pilot assembly needs to be cleaned or replaced. The pilot orifice is very small. Like the diameter of a human hair. If it gets restricted, it will change the air/fuel ratio and screw up the bunsen charicteristics of the flame. If the pilot flame is very blue, it may be obstructed. And the regulator pressure needs to be checked.
You need to call a pro to look at it. Hopefully, you will get one.
I see this on my prestolite torch all the time. Dust gets sucked on to the orifice and closes down the gas while there is pleanty of air. I get a long, yellow weak flame. Clean it out and it is like new.
@ November 21, 2010 9:59 AM in Charlotte CPVC PipeChris,
Canada has a government and a consumer mentality that looks out for the safety of the consumer and not the profits of big business when it comes to public safety.
Were you around for the Plex-Vent fiasco? I saw that coming from the start and no one in the USA said a thing. In fact, opposition was threatened. Not so in Canada. It was outlawed as soon as they found the stuff coming apart and the clips rusting off. There have been other things that Canada took the lead in where we followed like sheep while US companies denied and waited for the warranties to run out. They we and the customers were on their own.
In Canada, that rated PVC is somehow rated for a much higher temperatures than standard DWV pressure pipe. I always wondered about how some PVC exhaust vents I put on direct power vented water heaters were turning orange and the glue got all weird. I first heard about this because the Canadians outlawed it. The USA is no longer the leading edge of technology. We have turned that over to the Asians and Europeans. Safety to the Europeans and the Canadians.
That's also why I carry a UGI pocket C02 detecter in my pocket when I go into houses where gas equipment is located. One can't be too safe. I will only die once. I'm not ready yet.As a pediatric cancer survivor, I'm going for a record.
@ November 21, 2010 9:42 AM in Cutting RaupanelJeff,
I just looked up what Raupanel is.
Plywood panels with aluminum transfer plates? If so, I personally would feel quite comfortable cutting it with a good hand circular saw ("Skil Saw"). I would use the finest, most teeth carbide blade I could get and it can be an El Cheapo. I don't know the width of the panels but there are ways to make a "jig" that will make it easier to cut. If it is not all that wide, like 12" to 16", you can buy a "saw protractor" that has a long blade. The blade is adjustable and has marks on it to set angles. It is just an adjustable framing speed square. You can also get very long plastic speed squares. Like maybe with a 24" blade. You just set the square on the mark and cut away, using the protractor as a guide. Like the wood butchers do.
If the pieces are very wide, I use a third world table saw/cut off saw, that consists of a piece of 1/4" or 3/8" plywood with a fence consisting of a piece of wood, screwed on to the plywood, leaving enough to the right so that after you have screwed the fence on, you saw it off with the saw you will always be using. This fence or I have heard them referred to as "Shooter Boards", is used to run the saw against. It will give you a perfect cut every time. If you need to take a scoch off because it is too long or you need to adjust for an angle, it cuts easily with no pain. I've used these boards for years. The boards are never more than 14" wide and as long as you want to make them. I have a 54" one and a 96" one. You can also buy a Festool set up for a lot of $$$. My El Cheapo works just as well and can be made out of scrap lumber. For my serious ones, I use a piece of aluminum stock for the fence.
Try that. It will work. And when you support the work with boards under, you will never get a break off at the end. And you don't need a chalk box to make a line nor do you need to follow a line.
@ November 21, 2010 9:19 AM in Indirect fired on steamIf your tankless coil is "liming up", you probably need to have the water tested and get a water softener. I have seen "indirect" coils lime up just as bad as a "tankless" coil.
And a indirect is just a "tankless coil" removed from the boiler, which is designed to extract vast amounts of heat energy from a flame and convert it to water. Moving the coil from the boiler doesn't solve the problem, it just moves it somewhere else.
It is like a "geographical cure" for a drunk. Moving doesn't solve the problem. It just moves it somewhere else.
Cleaning the coil is effective if it doesn't lime up too quickly. But if you have a lot of dissolved lime deposits in the water, you are fighting a loosing battle.
Hard water means more soap and it is harder to get it off your body. You always feel slimy in the shower.
Get the water tested and then treated.
IMO, it is cheaper to treat the water and solve the problem than to spend a lot of complicated time, money and energy to just move the problem rather than solve it.
Like being "Just a little bit pregnant".
@ November 20, 2010 10:44 PM in Charlotte CPVC PipeThere was a discussion about this at aVeisman class I went to recently.
According to what "I" understand, you can use all the Sch 40 PVC on all the intske lines you want. But you MUST use Sch 40 or 80 CPVC on the exhaust. There are other approved materials for the exhaust but availibility could be an issue. My supplier stocks Sch 80 CPVC only. That's my choice.
I understand in Canada, there is no discussion. No PVC Only CPVC.
As I understood the discussion.
@ November 20, 2010 10:38 PM in second floor heat issuesBrian,
Back in he past and I was smart, learned a lesson. I used to stub out my 3/4" copper base risers before the circus animals got there to hang rock and plaster. I would leave them stubbed up and cut them off later when I connected the baseboard. Then later, I used a copper cap on a 3/4" copper piece and solder it to the riser with a coupling. I can easily remove it when I go to set the baseboard. I could never get the caps off without wrecking the pipe or fitting. Not so with the coupling.
Why is this important?
Once the circus animals dropped a whole wad of imperial plaster down my riser causing a major obstruction.
If the zone is isolatedn put a draw off on the supply so you have one on the supply and return. Get an air compressor and connect it to the supply side and ket it rip. Close the return, charge the zone, open the return. You will know if there is a obstruction. That's why I never leave anything un capped anymore. Too many circus animals leaving too many gifts inside my pipes.
@ November 20, 2010 10:22 PM in second floor heat issuesMy old boss used to tell me to not trust gauges. And I don't. That said, Ironman's way of purging works for him. It doesn't work for me.
I want the boiler hot. Not High Limit hot, but hot. I purge through the return. I have a valve below the purge valve. With zone valves, I always put a ball valve at the boiler return with a boiler drain above it so I can purge the whole system by myself standing alone and not having to run around. I put a short piece of hose into a 5 gallon bucket, or a hose outside. I open the purge valve, and when I do, I open the by-pass lever on the PRV. I let it run with the PRV filling at all times. If I stop, I flip the lever on the PRV. If the hose doesn't jump around before the return water gets hot, there is something else wrong. If the water comes around hot, and you leave it there, and it continues to circulte for some time, and you are sure that the circulator is running, like listen to the pipe and turn the switch on and off, that is OK.
What is the temperature on the high limit? Is the control that runs the boiler like the one pictured in another thread on this board? When the boiler is running and shutting off on a first floor zone, is the water REALLY hot to the touch on the supply piping? Is the thermostat controller running too high? And you are making steam as the pressure drops going up to the second floor?
Try dropping the temperature settings 20 degrees or more and see what happens. I have had these controls go bad and run high. Very high.
Honeywell makes a replacement digital control that costs more money than the one that is there but it will do the job of all those controllers but is just a tad slower in response because of a self test before starting the burner.
Like I said, it is something stupid.
@ November 20, 2010 10:02 PM in Oil boiler DHW among other "issues"Iron,
I wsn't misquoting you.
I just hear all forms of this stuff. I was reaponding to just my thoughts.
I'm sort of on a rant. I'm in FLA until 11/30. I got some sort of virus or mal-ware from somewhere that has really wrecked havoc on my 'puter. I think the stuff is still there. I have paid a bit to get it fixed and I don't think it is. All my virus protectin is automatic and up to date. I have to pay them $90.00 to remove the stuff that got by their stuff, someone hacked my Yahoo account, changed my password and personal information so I can't repair it, and I have spent three weeks trying to deal with tech's in India that send form replies to me about getting back in 24 hours. My old ISp is no longer and fortunately, I have had a AOL account since 1995 that I can use. I went to a ATT store to have them download the latest version of ATT communication manager for my wireless air card device and the virus protection told us that their program was infected with viruses and would ruin my hard drive. So I tooi it to Office Depot here in FLA and they did some magig on it. I don't think they found anything but it cost me $170.00. Meanwhile, I have no E-mail and no way to get to my customers, and when I get back to MA, I'll probably have to re-format my gard drive, back up what I can save and hope to not get re-infected.
I'm having a wonderful time in FLA. Where I hate the heat. Next month, I hope to get in some sailing. It's getting colder.
@ November 20, 2010 9:47 PM in Oil boiler DHW among other "issues"Sorry to keep on here but,
The problem with "outdoor reset" is that it works a lot better on paper and in theory than in actual practice.
If you use outdoor reset in a area with high varying winds, your reset curves go down the commode. I know. Been there, seen that. Because where I work, I/we use 0 degrees with 15 MPH wind, if it is 35 out and blowing 15, you are at 1/2 of your design temperture. But if the wind drops, you are over temperature. If the wind picks up to a steady 30 with gusts to 45, you are under temperature. If it is zero, and it is gusting to 45 MPH (seen that more than once), you are way below your design temperature. The cost of any equipment to allow and correct for this would negate any fuel savings.
There are many factors in infiltration that you can not allow for. And when confronted with it, your only way out is to raise the water temperature in the system. If you have ever designed and installed a heating system (like I have and do) where you know that everything is right and everything works. Then, you get a irate call on a day when it is 28 degrees and blowing 35 MPH outside. The house won't go over 62 when the thermostat is set at 70. The boiler is cycling off and although you dsigned it for 180, 220 won't get it over 62 and the return water is 200 degrees. Come back a few days later and it is 15 degrees out with no wind. The house is at 70 and the circulator is cycling on and off to the thermostat. The reason? Excessive infiltration due to building code requirements. Recessed ceiling lights in a ceiling with ventilated attic space above and soffit and ridge vents on cathedral ceilings.
Your best tool is a infra-red thermometer gun to shoot the walls and ceilings. When you find a flat ceiling with 55 degree ceiling temperatures and temperatures in the can lights of 35 or 40 degrees, it aint your fault. You are looking at a "cold sink". But explain it after some "expert" has told the client that YOU screwed up their heating system and the boiler and radiation is undersized and needs to be replaced. That's if the client bothers to tell you. He may just get the idiot to do the work and they can all bad mouth you. They might even try to ask you to pay for the correction of "your mistake". Nothing will be said when the problem isn't solved from lack of understanding of the problem.
Set back thermostats artificially raise and lower the outside temperature.
If you run a clod start oil boiler, and it gets dirty, and it will, there go ANY savings you made from anything. Warm starts do not get dirty.
Sorry for the rant.
@ November 20, 2010 9:20 PM in Oil boiler DHW among other "issues"So, what you and BHL are saying is that if I use 1000 gallons of oil a year, and I have tankless with a storage tank, and I switch it to a Indirect, I will save 300 gallons of oil per year. Never happen. I have seen savings of something when I added a storage tank to a tankless and dropped he temperature in the system. And added set back thermostats. But no where along the lines of 30%.
Never ever happen.
30% of what? is what I ask.
Joe the wino was shuffling down the street. Happy. Not a penny to his name. He spotted a dime in the gutter. On picking it up, he reflected how his lot and wealth in live had increased ten times. He then found another dime. He doubled his wealth. But he was only worth 20 cents. Four returnable containers would double it again. Big deal.
@ November 20, 2010 9:10 PM in Oil boiler DHW among other "issues"While what has been said is apparently true, I think that there are other "issues" when the question is about the hot water and the operation of the system.
It sounds to me that the water coming out of the tankless is hot, very hot. There is no mention that the water is cold after it leaves the tempering valve. But the water isn't hot or very hot at the hot water inlet of the mixing valve.
This is a plumbing issue. Not a heating issue.
I understand that the shower valve is a single lever. If it is a Symmons, the balancing spool is stuck part way across. If it is stuck all the way across, it won't pass water. It is a safety device. If it is any type of modern single lever that isn't a Moen that says "Moentrol" on the cover, the balancing spool is stuck.
If the hot water to the valve is drastically cooler than what comes to the shower, and water at other fixtures are hotter, you may have a toilet tempering valve that is stuck open. Hope that if this is the case, someone can find it if it is buried in a wall. "I" could find it. Someone else, not hopefully.
As far as your boiler settings, there isn't a lot of water in that WTGO-3. There are only so many BTU's in a .85 GPH nozzle. I doubt that there is much more than 3 gallons of water in the boiler. That amount of water or say 5 gallons for discussion, is the medium you heat up to heat the water in the coil. Set the HI limit on the control to 190. The only time you will get 190 degree water is if the thermostat calls for heat. Set the LOW/CIRC to 170 degrees. That is what the temperature will be when you need domestic hot water.
If you understand about rising and falling outside temperatures, and their relationship to heating water temperatures, you will know that mostly, in a year, you don't need any radiation, of very little of what you have already installed. And you are only heating 3 to 5 gallons of water.
Over my many years, I have tried a lot of different things that were supposed to save money on heating fuel. I never saw any of them do anything appreachible except set back thermostats and using a tankless with a storage tank. And "I" stop for pennies. A dollar bill in the road and I slam on the brakes.
If you have a old, drafty house, you will want to have the boiler water warm. Feels some nice to feel the warmth when you turn up the T-stat.
I hear a lot of guys claim all these great savings from the latest idea. No one has proven anything to me.
On Interstate 95, driving to Florida, my car gets 28 MPG driving at 70 MPH for a long distance. If I jump it up to 80 MPH, it goes to 26.8 MPG. BFD.
But I get there (1500 Miles from my home) in almost 3 hours, less. Without stops or delays. With stops and delays, it is 24 hours. Every year, both ways.
Stops and delays equal all those perceived savings.
@ November 20, 2010 8:24 PM in Cutting RaupanelJeff, I don't know what Raupanel is or what it is made of but I wouldn't advise putting a blade in backwards because you will get something worse than kickback.
If you use a multitooth carbide tipped blade, it should cut OK of it isn't steel. It would cut this too but the sparks will fly.
If you are trying to cut panels, there are many special types of blades for different applications. A number of years ago, I saw a deal in Woodworkers Warehouse of these cheap ($20.00) Chinese Mikita knock-off rotary hand grinder. They came with a couple of grinding wheels and a carbide tile blade. The blade was worth more than the tool. I bought (from need) a couple of thin metal cutting blades to try to cut a hole in a piece of cast iron soil pipe sewer that was plugged. I have cut more holes with that one blade and am still using it years later. The spare I bought is still a spare.
Don't EVER put a blade in backwards. Some terrible things could possibly happen. Possible. But, You never know.
@ November 20, 2010 8:09 PM in second floor heat issuesWhy I like zone valves.
#1 Did you put a Amp-Clamp on the circ when it is supposed to be running and is it drawing amperage?
#2 When you purged the zone, were you (I assume, but you know the definition of that) you were drawing on the return side and that the heat emitters on the second floor were getting hot. That the hot water was coming out of the supply side of the boiler and not from the return?
#3 Is the thermostat operating the relay that starts the boiler/circulator.
#4 Is this a warm start boiler and the ZC/ZR terminals have been improperly used?
#5 Have you tried jumping the hot (115 volt) leads from a first floor zone circulator to the second floor circulator to see if the first floor thermostat would make the second floor hot?
#6 What electronics do you have running the whole thing.
The problem is so stupid, you will feel stupid for missing it. That's how I know. Because if you changed the circulator from a IFC (smart) to a regular one, the only thing can be is electrical. IMHO,
@ November 20, 2010 4:00 PM in Hot waterPhil,
I'm in FLA right now so I can't really make something but I can be descriptive.
They are like gas water heater tanks with a opening on the side gor a gas valve. But I will use the desctiption using a electric water heater.
So imagine this.
Take the 3/34" drain out of the bottom and install a 6: brass nipple with a tee. I usually use another nipple and ell to make a swing joint. Put a 3/4" drain valve in the other end of the tee. Roll the ell up, add a nipple and a 3/4" bronze Taco 006 or the SS one they now sell. The flow/arrow MUST be facing away from the tankReduce to 1/2", put in a 1/2" swing check and continue up. Connect this to the cold inlet side of the tankless. Where the cold water will enter the heater, after the shut off valve, install a 3/4" x 1/2" tee and connect the water from the hot side of the tankless heater. The water heater should be connected full size, 3/4" on the hot and cold.
I use the bottom thermostat on the water heater to control the pump as a switch leg. You do not need to have any wiring connected to the elements etc.
When the call for hot water comes, the circulator will start, drawing the coolest water from the bottom of the tank. It is sent into the inlet of the tankless. It is heated and sent to the TOP of the water heater but the dip tube inside the WH sends the heater water to the lower 2/3rds of the tank where it mixes and rises to the top. If the pump isn't running, the cold ends up in the bottom of the tank. If the circ. runs while using hot water, the hot and cold mix in the dip tube. You get full and equal pressure on the hot and cold and more control over the temperature.
If you figure out how this goes together, you can pipe any tank as a storage tank in tandem with a source of heated potable water. I've done it with a Bock 73E oil fired water heater on a restaurant type building that would have short big draws.
I'll add more in a few. I've got to do.
@ November 20, 2010 3:39 PM in Hot waterDamn Hacks.
Did they really think they would get away with putting in a used or salvaged control and no one would find out?
From the vastness of the Internet, they got busted. What I always worry about if "I" would dare to attempt that.
Call that guy up who installed that controll and ask them how come all the knock outs were removed before the install and why?
New rebuilt ones have all knockouts in place.
@ November 19, 2010 10:44 AM in Fan ConvectorBrad,
Nice answer and explaination.
@ November 19, 2010 10:39 AM in Backflow preventersJDB,
Lets see if I can cover it all.
Your darkroom may have a Symmons valve. I believe they have internal checks. Because they are known to be :on" all the time, they need to have the checks to not allow hot and cold pater to flow through other.
Laundry tray usually have a cheap faucet that had a 3/4" male hose fitting so you can but a short piece of hose on it to fill a bucket. The problem arises when you put a male hose on the outlet with a shut off sprayer fitting and don't shut off the hot and cold on the laundry sink. You now have a direct closed loop connection between the hot and cold. The same you would have on your photo mixer without the checks. The pressure between hot and cold isn't equal because it only takes a 7.5 degree rise in temperature to cause circulation.
The check valve on your Kohler faucet is in the spray hose or the handle/spray. You probably noticed that there isn't a lot of pressure in the faucet. If you unscrew the spray handle and turn on the water, and the strainer thingey isn't there, you have a lot more pressure. Look into the inlet of the handle. You will see that something covers most of the hole. That is the check valve. If you remove it (it isn't easy) you will see a remarkable improvement in water flow.
As far as outside faucets with back-flow protection, if you have a frost proof design, it will be on top, behind the handle. If it doesn't have it, there will be no plastic cap behind the handle. If you do not remove the hose in winter, freezing weather, the cap and check assembly may blow off. The ones without the device with the hose on will just break inside the wall in the house and when you turn it on in the spring to use it, you will have very little pressure and the water will be flooding the inside of the house. Remove the hose.
The old kinds do not do this. But, they have a screw on device that goes on the end with a screw you must tighten to keep from removing it. It breaks off flush when you get it tight. They are a PITA because my place in Florida had them on it when we bought the place and they both leaked. I had to cut them off because the hose bibs were soldered in to the copper pipe rather than use adapters that you could change.
There is stuff around that you don't even know about. It is set in our codes. Like GFCI in bathrooms and grounded outlets. Some things we take for granted but we don't know what they are. Like being safe.
@ November 19, 2010 10:10 AM in weil mclain gv gold lockout problemsGood point Slim,
I've had oil burners that didn't run like they once had and wouldn't deliver the air they once did. I took the fan/squirrel cage out and cleaned the INSIDE of the vanes of their accumulated crud. Like a aircraft propeller, having the leading edges of the fan covered in crud will wreck havoc on the air pressure. I was truly amazed at the amount of crud and the huge improvement in performance. I will have to mention this to my friend, the gas service guy. I've heard him speak a lot of things but not this.
@ November 18, 2010 9:10 PM in high Co2 readings, wet testerJDB,
You may have missed my dry sense of humor in writing. I have a electrician friend who uses that expression to cover such things as the unanswerable questions.
It isn't that some of us don't know what we are doing, it is that some of us are overwhelmed and perplexed at what some do that we have to go against.
I'm sure that you, like me have in your time seen a really impressive fluster kluck done and the only comment could be "Oh My God!!". Well, the only way to reconcile that is to say, "They're smart, and we're not". They must know something that we don't know. Or like I said to someone once who had this great idea for something simple but had plans. "you know, that might work for you. I've never seen it work for anyone else but it might work for you." If they want to do it like that, go to it.
As far as doctors go, I told one, a friend and customer, "We use the same process of elimination, diagnosis and treatment. The only difference between us in the treatment is that I can go to the supply huse and pick up what I need to fix your problem. You don't have a supply house to go to and do a trial and error scenario if needed."
If a doctor screws uo, someone may die. If we screw up, we may not get pain or asked back. But no one dies.